LISTEN: Religious Organizations, Leaders React to Trump’s New Immigration Policies; Gospel Singer Jonathan McReynolds Advises Christians to Take Advantage of Stock Market Surge Under Trump (BCNN1, 2/23/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Thursday, February 23, 2017.

1. According to Religion News Service, religious organizations and leaders were swift to react to new Trump administration policies that will widely expand deportations of undocumented immigrants. Bishop Dwayne Royster, political director of the PICO National Network, an interfaith organization that provides services to immigrants, said, “These policies are destructive to families. The president, with malicious intent, is attempting to destabilize our nation and communities by breaking up families through deportation and detention.” The policies, laid out in a memorandum released Tuesday (Feb. 21) by the Department of Homeland Security, are the result of an executive order signed by President Trump on Jan. 25. They will expand Obama-era laws to allow “expedited removals” of any undocumented immigrant who has been in the U.S. for less than two years anywhere within the U.S. The Obama administration’s policy had been limited to two weeks and within 100 miles of a U.S. border.

2. According to the Christian Post, even though gospel singer Jonathan McReynolds turned down the opportunity to sing at one of President Donald Trump’s inaugural events, he’s now advising Christians to take advantage of the stock market which has hit record highs since his election in November. Trump tweeted about the continued stock market surge on Feb. 16, writing: “Stock market hits new high with longest winning streak in decades. Great level of confidence and optimism — even before tax plan rollout!” That same day, USA Today reported that the Dow had hit an all-time record closing high. When the 27-year-old McReynolds realized that the stock market has been surging, he advised his Instagram followers to take advantage of their economic opportunities.

3. According to CNS News, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) told CBS’s “Face of the Nation” on Sunday that the Democrats have to work with the president, and the Congressional Black Caucus plans to meet with the president next week to discuss prescription drug prices. When asked if Cummings can work with the president, he said, “I think we have to work with him. I’ve got people who — you know, I keep telling people, this is our president. He’s going to be our president for the next four years. I’ve got people in my community who are suffering from cancer. They need treatment. I’ve got people who need jobs, and I’ve got to work with this president, but at the same time, there’s nobody that has been tougher on this president than I have been.”

4. According to Variety, Bow and Arrow Entertainment has acquired Richard Wright’s classic novel “Native Son,” which will be adapted into a movie by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Suzan-Lori Parks and helmed by acclaimed artist and photographer Rashid Johnson in his feature directorial debut. “Native Son” was first published in 1940 to much success, making Wright one of the most prominent African-American voices of the era. The novel follows Bigger Thomas, a 20-year-old African-American man growing up in poverty on the South Side of Chicago. Bow and Arrow partners Matthew Perniciaro and Michael Sherman will produce the film, with Malcolm Wright and Julia Wright serving as consultants on behalf of Wright’s estate.

5. According to the Christian Post, Tasha Cobbs has received Grammy, Dove and Stellar Awards. Now, she’s accepting another important honor: a key to her hometown. The 35-year-old gospel music star who hails from Jesup, Georgia, received the honor of the “Key to the City” given to residents and visitors by the city council and mayor. And Cobbs took to social media to share the moment with her supporters. She wrote on Instagram Sunday, “WOW! Tonight was AMAZING. The mayor from my hometown presented me with Key to the City… words escape me right now!” In the video, Jesup Mayor David Earl Keith presented Cobbs with the honor at Unity Church of God in Jesup.

6. According to People, on Wednesday, Nick Cannon announced the birth of son Golden “Sagon” Cannon on Tuesday, Feb. 21, by sharing a photo of himself cradling his newborn baby boy on Instagram. He captioned the black-and-white snap, “Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy cometh in the morning! No matter how hard the world may hit you, God always reminds us of our purpose! #TrueHappiness.” The America’s Got Talent host confirmed he was expecting his third child, and first with former Miss Arizona U.S.A. Brittany Bell, during an appearance on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club in November.

7. According to People, Rihanna may be widely celebrated for her music, but now she’s accepting a different type of honor—for her humanitarian work. The 29-year-old singer has been named the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year and will accept the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at a ceremony on campus next Tuesday. Harvard Foundation director S. Allen Counter said, “Rihanna has charitably built a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados.” The vocal philanthropist also created the Clara Lionel Foundation in honor of her grandmother and grandfather to improve health, education and arts and culture around the world. The charity offers a scholarship program for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries.